By Debbie Jackson
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Lincoln went to the theater for fun and diversion. He apparently even included musicals on his schedule. He memorized passages from Shakespeare and appreciated theatrical moments. To get fresh new perspectives about Lincoln, the Civil War and his times, why not attend a theater event (or two)?
Two noteworthy productions soon to be underway at Mosaic Theater in Washington DC have social and historical significance and insights - and promise to be lots of fun!
The first of these is Monumental Travesties: Somebody knocked off Lincoln’s head from the Emancipation Memorial as a protest statement. What’s up with that? Performance dates are September 7 - October 1.
Also on the schedule is Confederates: Dominique Morriseau’s new work examines history and race through parallel stories of an enslaved women and a tenured professor, 160 years apart. Performances run from October 26 - November 19.
Mosaic Theater Company is based at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Several weekday morning production dates are available where driving and parking are amenable. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater website.
Mosaic Theater also has organized a “Reflection Series” to help explore the themes and issues in these plays through engaging talks and presentations. The topics to be discussed include one well-known to Lincoln Group members – the history and controversy involving Lincoln Park’s Emancipation Memorial (shown in the above photo). The history of the Memorial, in fact, will be the topic of our September meeting on the 12th – see the events section of this website for information on that event and how to RSVP.
The “Reflection Series” consists of:
Memorializing Living History, September 6th at 6 PM at the D.C. Jewish Community Center.
The Monument: History, Controversy, Strategy, Saturday September 9th at 10:30 AM; attendees will gather at the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park,
Race, Memory, Monuments, and Forgetting, Tuesday September 12th 6:30 PM; the event will be held at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital with a panel of experts, including Dr. Edna Greene Medford.
Tickets are required for the series programs; see Monumental Travesties Reflection Series — Mosaic Theater.
At a talkback session I recently attended, one of the young performers shared that the role of theater is to keep us talking and listening to each other. Theater encourages us to live our lives differently, make unexpected new choices because we can see things differently.
In the ebb and flow of life after the pandemic, live theater is slowly making its way back to the forefront. Ticket sales are picking up and people are making new friends along the way to and from productions. There is simply nothing like sitting in the theater and watching aspects of life unfold right in front of you. Lincoln knew and appreciated that. Just another example of how we still can learn from Lincoln.
Hope to see you there!
(Photo credit: Wendy Swanson. Taken on the Lincoln Group's Juneteenth tour with Craig Howell)